Do you recon that pessimists would be immune to the placebo effect?


4 Answers

Goaty McSheepson Profile

Mmm... Possibly not, considering that it seems to be effective for things like depression.

I know that they're not really the same thing, but they can be related, so [something...]

Thomas Down Profile
Thomas Down answered

Pessimists need a nudge in the right direction to believe that the treatment is going to work. Tamper the success rate of the treatment if you have to, just to make them believe that there is a slight possibility that the treatment might work. 

Jone Davies Profile
Jone Davies answered

People with certain personality traits are more likely to have a placebo effect. This is well understood because the placebo effect depends on our beliefs and expectations, and some people may more easily and enthusiastically identify with them than others.

Findings in this area include: Optimists are more likely to respond to pain-relieving placebos [9]. Those who are tough and friendly with people also respond better to analgesic placebos, which may be related to doctors' interactions with patients when inducing the placebo effect.

Strangely, the traits associated with the placebo response vary across the disease being treated—in stress treatment, one study found that instead of being pessimistic, the unemotional subjects had an improved response to the placebo.

Current evidence also suggests that personality traits appear to have a significant effect on placebo response, while age and gender have little effect.

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